Articles

  • Cultivating a Writing Habit by Chris Brogan – He shares his personal experience with writing and how he writes so much with basic advice behind the “read and write more” we always hear about.
  • Conquering the Dreaded Synopsis by Lisa Gardner – An in depth look at the synopsis. Covering the market, query letter, examples of short and log synopsis as well as do’s and don’ts.
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. – Articles on various aspects of writing. Articles are categorized by beginner, intermediate and advanced. Other categories include manuscript preparation, copyright, and submitting. While some articles are genre specific, many can be applied to any genre.
  • Advice on Novel Writing by Crawford Kilian – The name says it all. This site contains several articles by Crawford Killian that cover various aspects of fiction writing including Plotting, Structuring a Scene, Formatting a Manuscript, and Reading a Contract.
  • Writing the Tight (Bare Bones) Synopsis by Beth Anderson – Takes you through the basic steps to writing a short and sweet synopsis.
  • Standard Manuscript Formatting by Carmel Thomaston – One of the best Manuscript examples on the internet. Detailed example of what a manuscript should look like after the writing is done.
  • Manuscript Format by John Gregory Betancourt – A brief listing of format requirements for short stories, novels and why.
  • Word Counts: What Is a Word? by Chuck Rothman – Explains what publishers are looking for when they ask for your word count. Very short article but worth reading.
  • Proper Manuscript Format – This is a .pdf document showing a short manuscript and proper format. Read the content of this piece as it explains the why and hows of this format.
  • Writerisms and other Sins: A Writer’s shortcut to stronger writing – A short article by C.J. Cherryh on language that writers often overuse or misuse.
  • Why Not Write in First Person – A very short opinion piece on the importance of avoiding first person writing.
  • The Top Ten Plotting Problems – A short article by Alicia Rasley on writing blunders such as poor starts, too many characters, sagging middles, conflict issues and more.
  • On Writing-Great Beginnings – Robert Sawyer writes about drawing in your readings from the first word.
  • Basic Plotting for Science Fiction – A useful article on plotting your science fiction novel but useful for others too. This site if full of great advice.
  • Teresa Nielsen Hayden on Stupid Plotting Tricks – A simple article on plots and characters from a unique perspective.
  • Lester Dent’s Master Fiction Plot – Lester Dent’s formula for building a 6000 word master plot pulp story for adventure, detective, western and war-air types. It tells exactly where to put everything.
  • Strong Characters versus Weak Character – C.J. Cherryh explains how the whole book is a character.
  • The Character Interview – Alicia Rasley article using free writing to unlock the perceptions, plot, self concept and conjunctions of your characters. It’s full of relevant questions to ask yourself.
  • Show Don’t Tell – Robert Sawyer explains the difference between showing and telling in this short article for writers.
  • Creating Memorable Characters – Sherwood Smith offers his opinions on creating memorable characters. There are also three years of other writing related articles.
  • Dazzling Dialogue Tips – Alicia Ramsay shares how to keep your dialogue short, snappy, active, interactive, dynamic, subtext, meaningful and simple. More articles listed at bottom of this one.
  • Pitfalls of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, & General Useful Information – Vonda McInyre’s 12 Pitfalls for writers to be aware of.
  • Research Tips for Writing Alternate History – Harry Turtledove’s suggestions on making a better world.
  • Project Gutenberg – The best way to learn about writing is to read some of the best literature in the world. A good place to start is in the past. A huge collection of writing from classic authors is available here. All free to read.
  • Fantasy World-Building – A list of questions to ask yourself when you are building a new world. Constructed by Patrica Wrede. Definitely worth printing off and keeping a copy on hand for future reference.
  • The Linguistics & Science Fiction Sampler – Nine step guide by Suzette Haden Elgin on creating a language for your characters. This is another must have for any fantasy world creator.
  • Designing the Undead or What Model is Your Vampire? – Scroll down for an article by Rebecca Brand on creating a dead character who walks amongst the living. Takes a brief look at roots, society, image and hang-ups.
  • For Openers – Brian Plante shares his ideas on the importance of a good opening line, especially for new writer.
  • Closing Time – Just as important as the opening. Brian Plante talks about leaving a good impression on your reader.
  • What is a Short Story? – Marion Zimmer Bradley talks about making a great commercial short story for public consumption.
  • Discovering the Story Within – Alicia Rasley’s short opinion piece on the protagonist.
  • The Standard Deviations of Writing – How to avoid errors in style, substance, motive, development, presentation and ego.
  • Mark Your Calendars: How to Generate Story Ideas – Freelance writer and PR specialist, Kelle Campbell’s report (in .pdf form) on generating ideas year round.
  • Red Flags for Writers – A Writer’s Digest article for freelancers with words to keep an eye on and avoid in simple contracts or writing requests.
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About Maureen Wood

M. E. Wood lives in Eastern Ontario with her husband of fifteen years. She has been moderating BIW for over nine years and works on the Internet. You can learn more about her projects on her official website.